If mulberries can be used in pies, tarts, teas, and cordials, mulberry leaves have traditionally been fed to silkworms, which turn them into cocoons, which are then used to make silk.
What few people know, however, is that mulberry leaves are not only suitable for human consumption, they are also both nutritious and tasty.
As I mentioned yesterday, I enjoyed a sumptuous Chinese dinner Sunday night (30 July 2011) at the Baiyulou Chinese Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre.
Our menu included Peking Duck (190 yuan) along with several other rather innovative sounding dishes: marinated sour and spicy turnip (28 yuan), double-boiled mushroom with baby bamboo shoot soup (78 yuan), pan-fried beef spareribs with mustard and mint and pepper (128 yuan), braised codfish with pumpkin and Parmesan, congee with baby oysters and pork meat, steamed turbot, a kind of fish, and baked eggs with goose liver and fish roe.
One of the more interesting dishes suggested to me by Executive Chef Martin Mo was stewed fish tofu with mulberry leaves in chicken soup (68 yuan).
The fish tofu was as yummy as it sounds, and the mulberry leaves had a fascinating texture. The chichen soup, meanwhile, was thick and creamy.
It was, along with the Peking Duck sandwiches (ground Peking duck with minced mushrooms and chestnuts wrapped in lettuce) one of my two favourite dishes that night.
If I had to name a third, it would surely be the starter: marinated sour and spicy turnip. And for presentation, the blue ribbon does to the baked eggs with goose liver and fish roe, a custardy concoction served in the shell.
Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: a mulberry leaf extracted from our dish Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer